Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures Sink Ahead of Long Weekend

The Small-Cap Indicator Nearing Extremes

by Josh Selway |

Published on Feb 17, 2017 at 9:04 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are trading well below fair value this morning, putting the Dow's win streak in jeopardy ahead of the long Presidents Day weekend. Stocks may fall victim to a round of profit-taking after a huge week, especially with little in the way of economic data to provide a catalyst. Traders are digesting some major M&A news, however, with Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ:KHC) reportedly making an unsuccessful buyout offer for consumer goods giant Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL). Meanwhile, an impressive earnings report is boosting Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) ahead of the open. 

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • The small-cap indicator nearing extreme levels.
  • How Wall Street is playing NVIDIA Corporation's (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Tesla Inc's (NASDAQ:TSLA) pullbacks. 
  • 3 healthcare stocks that may be vulnerable to downgrades. 
  • Plus, Deere's big move, the Dow component in the DoJ's cross hairs, and Carl Icahn's bad morning. 

stock futures today

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are 72 points below fair value. 

5 Things You Need to Know Today
  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 952,816 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 510,622 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio dipped to 0.54, while the 21-day moving average moved down to 0.67.
  2. DE is ready to open at record-high levels, up 3.2% in electronic trading, after the company posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, while raising its full-year outlook. The shares are already up 34% year-over-year, yet many on the Street are bearish on DE shares
  3. Dow stock UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) is off 2% in pre-market trading, after the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming it allowed subsidiaries to overcharge for Medicare. Even if the losses come to fruition, UNH shareholders can't be too upset. The shares are up 38% in the past 12 months, and hit a record high of $164.97 just yesterday. 
  4. Another pre-market loser is Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HTZ), with the car rental specialist getting downgraded at Credit Suisse to "underperform" from "neutral," while seeing its price target slashed to $15 from $27 -- in multi-year low territory. The shares have been falling fast since peaking above $53 in July, closing Thursday at $21.66 -- bad news for activist investor Carl Icahn
  5. Bloomin' Brands (BLMN), Campbell Soup (CPB), J.M. Smucker (SJM), and VF Corp (VFC) will wrap up the week's earnings calendar, while retail earnings dominate next week's agenda. 

Buzz Stocks Feb 17

Overseas Trading

Stocks in Asia ended lower, with shares of Korea-based Samsung in focus, after CEO Jay Lee was arrested on corruption charges. The electronics stock lost 0.4%, contributing to a roughly 0.1% dip in South Korea's Kospi. Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei shed 0.6%, dragged down by a stronger yen, as well as a more than 9% loss in Toshiba shares -- though Sharp added nearly 3%, following upwardly revised guidance. Rounding things out, China's Shanghai Composite dropped 0.9%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gave back 0.3%.

European markets are mixed, as traders keep an eye on the G-20 summit in Bonn, Germany, while digesting a series of earnings and economic reports. On the plus side, London's FTSE 100 is up 0.3%, boosted by huge gains in Unilever stock, after Kraft's proposed merger -- though it was declined. However, U.K. retail sales suffered a surprise drop last month, their third consecutive monthly decline. Meanwhile, France's CAC 40 is down 0.9%, and the German DAX is off 0.3%, despite post-earnings strength in shares of insurer Allianz, which raised its dividend and announced a buyback plan.

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